What the development of new media has done is to make it much more difficult than it used to be for organizations and individuals to operate in a quite backwater unnoticed by anybody else, just getting on with their own lives or perhaps just running their own business not very well.  The development of technology and social media in particular has exposed all of us much more than in the past.

When I started my working life, it was quite easy to be mediocre and nobody really noticed.  Now, you can move services across boundaries, across national boundaries, across continents very, very easily, and in most cases, therefore, what we’ve got is the need to make sure that we are competitive just not in the small circle in which we operate but much more widely because otherwise the danger is that somebody will come from a quite unexpected direction and occupy the space that we occupy, particularly if it’s profitable.  

Bluntly, if you are doing something that doesn't make money and is not very profitable, you may not be very threatened.  But once you’ve got something which is a service or produce goods that other people want and you're making money in it, then all this technology makes it much easier for people to move into your space.  So as far as education is concerned, what education can do is to make you aware of what these threats are so that you're much less likely to be caught unawares.

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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